Sigma-Aldrich Corporation and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals announced today that Alnylam has granted Sigma-Aldrich a non-exclusive license to provide research products and services in RNA interference (RNAi) under the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family.
This patent family, owned by Alnylam, covers short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and their use to mediate RNAi in mammalian cells.
"The Kreutzer-Limmer patent family is an integral component of Alnylam's strategy to build value today through its leading IP portfolio in the field of RNAi," said Vincent Miles, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Business Development of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. "There can be few better-known names than Sigma in the world of life-science research suppliers, and we are delighted to have them become the seventh such supplier, and twelfth company overall, to have taken a license to Alnylam's Kreutzer-Limmer patent family."
"Sigma is a global provider of products for functional genomics and gene silencing," said Keith Jolliff, Ph.D., Strategic Marketing Manager for Sigma. "This license agreement with Alnylam further strengthens Sigma's position as a key licensed supplier of siRNAs to the scientific community."
RNA interference, or RNAi, is a naturally occurring mechanism within cells for selectively silencing and regulating specific genes. Since many diseases are caused by the inappropriate activity of specific genes, the ability to silence and regulate such genes selectively through RNAi could provide a means to treat a wide range of human diseases. The discovery of RNAi has been heralded by many as a major breakthrough, and the journal Science named RNAi the top scientific achievement of 2002, as well as one of the top 10 scientific advances of 2003.